Freiburg City Hall Wins German Sustainability Award

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Martin Haas (DGNB vice-president), Prof. Dr. Michael Bauer (Partner at Drees & Sommer SE), Christoph Ingenhoven (ingenhoven architects), Prof. Dr. Martin Haag (Senior Planning Officer Freiburg), Prof. Alexander Rudolphi (DGNB president)

The new city hall in the Stühlinger district of the German city of Freiburg has won the DGNB Sustainable Building award for outstanding implementation of ecological and architectural standards. The award was made by the German Sustainability Award Foundation (Stiftung Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e. V.) and the German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen, DGNB). Drees & Sommer was the general technical planner for the showcase project. The company’s engineering experts were responsible for energy design, energy management, building physics, building technology, and façade engineering. The award was presented in the Germany city of Düsseldorf on December 7, 2018.

Dr.-Ing. Michael Bauer, Partner at Drees & Sommer SE and a professor of engineering, commented: ‘We are very proud of our important contribution to the success of the project, culminating in this sustainability award. Integrated and innovative energy and sustainability concepts such as those used in the new city hall in Freiburg’s Stühlinger district, can only be achieved through the close cooperation of all those involved in the project – from the client through the architect to the technical planner.’ As the representative of the company and the person responsible for general technical planning for the city hall, he accepted the sustainability award at the gala event in Düsseldorf, along with Freiburg’s city counselor for building and construction, professor Martin Haag, and the architect, Christoph Ingenhoven of ingenhoven architects.

Completed in November 2017, the city hall in Freiburg’s Stühlinger district was the first public net plus energy building in the world. It has a gross floor area of 24,000 square meters and offers space for more than 800 municipal employees. But the special feature is that the new building can produce more energy than it needs itself. This means that the public administration building covers its own energy requirements and is also able to feed surplus energy into the city’s electricity grid. The electricity and the energy for heating and air conditioning are produced from renewable energies such as photovoltaic, solar thermal and geothermal energy. As a result, the primary energy requirement of the new city hall is only 55 kilowatt-hours per square meter per year, equivalent to 40 percent of the primary energy requirement of a comparable modern office building. Thanks to this and other special features, the city hall plays a pioneering role in terms of energy and sustainability. Drees & Sommer’s engineering experts were responsible for the energy concept, building services (i.e. mechanical, electrical and public health systems), building physics and façadeengineering on the project.